Kenner Council Refuses To Call Off Charter Vote
KENNER, La. (AP) — Kenner voters will be able to vote Nov. 6 on two amendments to the Home Rule Charter.
The Times-Picayune reports (http://bit.ly/N2Kv3o ) the city council Thursday indefinitely deferred legislation proposed by Mayor Mike Yenni’s administration that would have called off the elections.
In the past few weeks, the Kenner City Council has set elections for voters to decide in November whether to change the charter to allow the council to ratify contracts valued at more than $100,000 and bar political appointees from politics.
Both elections were supported by the entire seven-member council.
Yenni said Thursday that he doesn’t have a problem with what the council proposed but wonders whether they have “done their due diligence.”
He said a non-political charter review committee should be created to hold public meetings, review and make recommendations for amendments to the Home Rule Charter. The legislation the administration proposed would have done that.
Both charter revisions, if adopted by voters, would check the mayor’s power by stopping his appointees from politicking for him and by giving the council oversight of more contracts.
The legislation, as proposed, said there is a “perception that the referendums were called for as a vendetta and were politically motivated.” It also said prohibiting unclassified employees from being involved in political activity is unconstitutional.
Council President Jeannie Black, who submitted the legislation for the administration, moved immediately to defer the measure after it was read into the record Thursday.
The council unanimously voted to defer the legislation without comment, but later in the meeting Council members Kent Denapolis and Joe Stagni both called the law “offensive.”
“I find it appalling and offensive,” said Stagni.
In addition to calling off both elections, the legislation would have called for the council to create a nine-person charter committee to recommend changes to the charter. That committee would include appointments from local universities, business associations and legal associations.
Information from: The Times-Picayune, http://www.nola.com